The evangelical financial ethic: Doubled forms and the search for God in the economic world

Caitlin Zaloom

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    In evangelical churches across the United States, volunteers assist other church members in transforming household budgets into lenses that reveal God's kingdom on earth, reframing the force and volatility of markets as divine mystery. The strategies of financial ministry are distinctive, yet they engage a more general conundrum that pits economic success against conflicting ethical projects; they illuminate the process of ethical management in the financial economy. The ministries' uses of budgets also challenge the idea that market devices gain power primarily by formatting economic transactions and establishing conditions for market exchange. Evangelical financial ministries show how, in everyday calculative practices, a device such as a household budget renders the spiritual economic, and the economic spiritual. In the exercise of evangelical ethics, financial ministry returns the divine touch to the invisible hand. [Christianity, economy, ethics, finance, households, markets, United States].

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)325-338
    Number of pages14
    JournalAmerican Ethnologist
    Volume43
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - May 1 2016

    Fingerprint

    ministry
    god
    moral philosophy
    budget
    market
    economics
    church
    formatting
    economic success
    economy
    Christianity
    transaction
    finance
    management

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Anthropology

    Cite this

    The evangelical financial ethic : Doubled forms and the search for God in the economic world. / Zaloom, Caitlin.

    In: American Ethnologist, Vol. 43, No. 2, 01.05.2016, p. 325-338.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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